Jones a wanted man in Gainesville

Rivals100 RB Jeff Jones is suddenly a top priority for Florida in the 2014 recruiting cycle. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

There was a running back on Team Nitro that Florida fans couldn’t stop watching and talking about in Thursday’s Under Armour All-America Game.

And it wasn’t Miami Central’s Dalvin Cook.

Gator Nation had their eyes on Jeff Jones, who won MVP after rushing for 37 yards on six carries and catching four passes for 35 yards and a touchdown.

The 6-foot, 196-pounder from Minneapolis (Minn.) Washburn is currently committed to in-state Minnesota, but UF offered the Rivals100 member hours after Cook flipped to Florida State on Tuesday.

Since then, Jones said he has been hearing from Gator fans nonstop and taking it all in stride.

“Well, two weeks ago I wasn’t a wanted man in Gainesville,” Jones said with a laugh. “But I appreciate the fans and the love they’re giving me. I’m just going to see what Gainesville is like and go from there.”

Florida will host Jones on official visit Jan. 24. He visited Minnesota and Iowa State in December and doesn’t have any other trips scheduled.

Jones is looking forward to spending time with the UF coaches in three weeks, particularity new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper

“I’m ready to see what they have to offer me,” he said. “I feel like it’s a great opportunity to go check out a great program in the SEC. I just want to meet their coaching staff and find out if I can be comfortable there for four years.

“I don’t know much about the school, but I know the football team excels. This year they didn’t do too well, but they got a new offensive coordinator and he might be the right one for me.”

Jones has informed Minnesota coach Jerry Kill of his plans.

“I talked to coach Kill and told him I’m going take a visit to be sure I make the right choice,” Jones said. “Right now Minnesota has my commitment, but Florida is an option for me.”

Does Jones prefer to stick with his pledge or is he willing to switch schools?

“My official visit to Florida will tell it all,” he said.


  1. Ironic if he becomes a Gator and a better overall player than Cook….which I believe he is. I also like his character better than Cook’s….and attitude of being honest with the coaches recruiting him in the media….which Cook was not. Cook will fit in well at Free Shoes U.

  2. Jones did look better than Cook overall,but Cook do have what they says he have the homerun threat,that busrt he do have that.Jones under the radar seen like he have the total package.Redshirt Jones & Grier cause its gonna take at least 2yrs. to get the offense install to full capacity then take the wheels.We might have found the diamond in the ruff.Go Gators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. cook is turning out to be classless and someone i dont think we needed in g’ville anyway,, i understand the poor season we had and the chump we have as a headcoach,, but cook you have made your decision. why the constant barbs at gatornation on twitter?, makes you look immature and classless. the gators will be fine “trust me”

  4. It’s amazing that the guy that UF is scrambling to get, because their first choice is no longer available, is now better. Suddenly he is headed to Gainesville? This happening is a longshot at best, a desperate ploy to get a running back. Now everyone is getting excited over someone who is most probably never going to come to UF but doesn’t mind taking a visit to the sunshine state. I just think you are setting yourself up to have your dreams broken. The fact is that Cook is the guy UF wanted and it shows poor taste to denigrate him because he went elsewhere. No scholl gets everyone they want. Many people think Taylor is so good that Cok was not going to supplant him anyway. They may be right, but I watched him and there wasn’t much difference between him and Brown. Taylor is a little more elusive, but they seem the same in regards to quickness and speed. The majority of plays you couldn’t tell the difference in the result if either Brown or Taylor was in the game. I don’t think I’m blind, but Taylor is a shadow of his father. Maybe he will improve, but I can’t understand why everyone is going gaga over him at this time in his career.

  5. Snow print…people are upset with the way cook trolled UF..the way he handled it speaks volumes about his character…if he knew for 2 months that FSU was where he wanted to go….then be upfront and decommit …always treat everyone how you would like to be would cook like it if on signing day no one sent him a LOI?

  6. Snowprint, most of us in Gator Nation respect a recruits right to change the school they want to attend. My issue was the disrespect shown to UF. If you want to flip to another school great, just be a man and do it with dignity and respect. Best wishes to DC. But I hotter we kick their tail next year.

  7. MB, kids change their mind all the time. It’s no reason to denigrate the kid. For instance, Taylor’s father told Bowden he was coming to Tallahassee, it didn’t happen but Bowden didn’t badmouth the kid because he knew, as you should, that teenagers can be capricious and if you are depending on them to be dependable and not change their mind on a whim, you are going to be disappointed. I know some players who chose a school because they like the uniform, most adults would think that is crazy, but that is how a person whose prefrontal cortex hasn’t fully developed thinks sometimes.

  8. Personally, I feel fine about not adding an RB this year. Plenty of depth and talent there already. I’d like to see some more O-line and middle linebackers added. Both of those areas were extremely weak and decimated by injury. We had walk-on guys playing LB at the end of the year.

  9. I agree with Snowprint on the fact that some of us may immediately overvalue Jones b/c he’s a possible consolation prize to Cook. However, those that watchd the UA game are free to make their own assessments much like Snow’s completely inaccurate comparison between Brown and Taylor. No one will know until these young men are fully capable of until they actually hit campus. Lest we all forget that we still have a bowling ball stud of a RB in Adam Lane waiting for carries as well.

    On the subject of the similarities between Mack & Kelvin, I could not disagree with Snow more. In direct order, Matt Jones is roughly 3 yds and a cloud of dust straight ahead. he showed very little progression in the field of avoiding tackles this year. Mack Brown, however, showed consistency as a downhill runner, with the vision to squeeze into holes and at least attempt to avoid a first tackler. Kelvin, on the other hand, showed much more vision (sometimes to his detriment) in actively searching for breaks and holes in the o-line to exploit. The problem being however, was the inconsistency of his carries throughout the entire year and our lackluster O-line play.

    Snow also stated the very reason why so many of us openly tout Taylor as a savior at RB. We’re comparing a true freshman to a RS Soph, someone who’s been on campus for 3 years. Kelvin more than passed his test and Mack Brown was able to flash his promise and potential despite one of our worst seasons thus far. While I don’t personally subscribe to our need of a RB at this point, there’s no reason to not cast out net out to see what players we may be able to sneak into this class, especially with the attrition rates that we’ve seen over the past few seasons.

  10. Snowprint take the hint. Gator nation is tired of all the useless negativity. So unless you actually have some actual factual info that makes you think he Jones won’t come, or some actual analysis, then bug off. The last thing Gators need is the negative buzz you’re trying to supply. Jones seems like an open and honest kid and he’s taking a visit and leaving his mind open. With the great job this coaching staff has done in recruiting and the impact trips to UF tend to have on kids, I feel very confident about our chances with him. Go Gators!

  11. moneygreen, I just say it how I see it. You want something good? Hargreaves, Fowler, and Bullard are very good players to build a defense around. I just haven’t seen anyone on offense that gets me excited. We keep hearing about potential playmakers; Robinson, Deboseetc. but none have yer materialized on the field. It’s hard to think of anything positive about an offense that has finished in triple digits three years running and having false optimism leads one to draw conclusions that may be wrong. Like the current hypothesis that there is a lot of talent on offense that only needs better coaching. If UF is again mediocre on offense this year with yet another offensive coordinator, it may be time to place the fault at the feet of the players, maybe the talent is not there. That’s not being negative, it’s just the cold hard facts.

  12. These recruits are like girlfriends, while they’re yours they are the best. The day after you break up they are filthy whores. The natural healing process requires us to find fault in the old and beauty in the new, just or un. So let us heal. Think what you will, what you need to, but be careful what you say. If Dalvin decide’s she made a mistake and wants to come back you know we’d have her, even though she was cheating. If not, to hell with it, Jeff Jones is better looking anyways. Move on…. go gators.

  13. @ snowprint, usually i agree with alot of what you say,, but you are missing the boat on kt, he was a true freshman and was clearly the best rb on the roster, he can only be better this year, also i think humpries finds himself and be the beast he is expected to be.

  14. snowprint, I agree with you there is not as much talent on the offensive side as in years past. However a good HC develops good players into great players. Florida keeps changing O coordinators thinking that is the reason why our O has struggled. However the one main constant has been the HC Muchamp. To me his a great recruiter and D minded coach. However he has NO clue on how to coach players to reach their full potential.

  15. Snoeprint….why don’t you go back to your nole..board..really could care less about your garnet and gold hard facts
    First off…I will repeat it to you slowly so you can understand..the majority of Gator fans are not knocking theper say..but the manner in wwho h he handled it..did I not say..if he changed his mind..then decommit..
    As far as Taylor..please show a link where he did what you said……did he do chops and tell everyone in the media howhe was 100% and then 80% ccommitted to FSU? Please show me where Taylor did this? Did he carry on about how he believed in loyalty and trust? Yeah cook was so loyal…continue to say he was committed while all the time for 2 months knew he was FSU bound..
    Your garnet and gold glass are making you look foolish and delusional on a GATOR board

  16. @snowprint: My recollection of Fred Taylor was that he was really good when he played but he was injured so often he simply wasn’t on the field that much over his four years — the FSU and Penn State games earned him the high draft pick and signing bonus. I think KT was a great contributor and will only get better.

    I agree though, no need to knock Cook, but can you blame some of the fans disillusioned by him carrying on like he did before his announcement? Fowler certainly didn’t do the same with FSU when he flipped.

  17. I’m not mad at the 18 year old that saw things different and has not matured enough to show class, some people mature faster than others. He’s still a kid and he wants something he thinks THE UF can’t provide for him. That’s his choice, I see the (should be) more mature adults in us not setting the example and spitting fire at a child (mainly) because he has changed his mind and not chosen us, let it go . The kid changed his mind and we (adults) move on to the kids that are coming or are considering coming to this GREAT university. We LOVE it when we get a flip, DEAL with it when we Lose aflip. GO GATORS!!!!

  18. @Creek, no one is mad because he flipped. it hurts, but I haven’t seen anyone bash the flip. people are pissed that he played the Gators for 2 months an tried to embarrass us. To be honest I don’t see it as classless, I see it as rivalry. I’d love the opportunity to do the exact same to FSU, but I’d do it knowing it would piss them off and they’d hate me. That’d be the point in doing it. Actions come with consequences. The consequences for Dalvin’s actions are being hated by Gator fans and being public enemy number 1. He made his bed now he must lie in it. I hope Gator players take it personally and make him pay because that’s what rivalries are all about.

  19. Snowprint-I see you’re getting exactly what you deserve, ha? What a freekin’ IDIOT! Yeah us Gator fans are disappointed that ya boy DC dissed UF but in the long run I think he does absolutely nothing at fsu. If Jones flips to UF then great but personally I hope he doesn’t feel like he was a 2nd option to fall back on. GO GATORS!!!

    PS It was great watching Gerald Willis spurn lsu for the orange & blue yesterday!!! GO GATORS!!!

  20. Jones would be a good fit. Anyone that doesn’t understand why UF had to pursue Cook, ahead of other running backs do not understand the dynamics of recruiting. UF, however, should have told Cook to “fish or cut bait” earlier and when he decided to visit FSU, they should have went after Jones then.

    As for the criticism Cook is receiving – he deserves every bit of it. He has intentionally drug UF, with Jimbo’s blessing, to keep other RB recruits away from UF. Unfortunately, it’s a tactic used by several coaches and recruits, who lack character.

    This “snowprint” character is either a “Corn-Nolio” troll or one of those who crave negativity. When they can’t find something to be negative about, they manufacture it. To say that Taylor isn’t special proves the lack of football knowledge. To have a name like “snowprint”, he/she can’t be expected to make many quality comments.

  21. Kelvin Taylor is our most naturally gifted, instinctive pure RB since, well, Fred Taylor, who also needed some time to fully develop before producing a great finish to his Gator career. He basically carried our offense on his back in ‘ 97 when we lacked a consistent QB. I would think KT will emerge in a major way with last year’s experience behind him and a healthy O-line in front. What our staff seem to be seeking is deep speed to complement KT, Mack, Matt and Adam Lane. Then Valdez Showers could move to the slot and get several touches a game in space. New offense is about progressions, broad distribution to a variety of playmakers, and lots of looks executed in a hurry.

  22. Getting Dalvin Cook was not the make or break outcome for our te, though I suspect he’ll have a great career at F$U. He had the privilege to change his mind — it’s his life, his future that matter most. The offense taken is how he played UF until the end, tying our coaches’ hands from recruiting other worthy backs. Our HBC acted honorably in keeping the scholarship open for Dalvin until it was over. Now we’re moving on, taking care of the Fators and seeking young men who want to be students at our university and excel on our football team. I’m hoping Jeff Jones comes our way.

  23. The Cook ordeal may turn out to be for the best after all. I remember Tracy Howard was all set to go to UF and ditched on signing day to UM. How did that turn out? The next year UF gets VHIII and by all accounts the better DB prospect. If Tracy signed maybe UF does not get VHIII the next year. It can happen again but what UF needs to do is handle their business on the field and build a staff with continuity assuming Muschamp sticks. UF is a great college football program and great programs don’t stay down for long.

  24. Great comments by all who posted on the Cook “ordeal”. I just skimmed quickly through them. My quick take on Jones and Scott, if we can one of them that will negate the loss of Cook. What little I know about all 3 rb’s, I rate them pretty even. GoGators. I’m so glad to read these comments, without all the negative venom that was present the past few months. Thank you.